Environment and Race Essay

Environment and Race Essay

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For many years now, environmental protection and regulation has been a moving force within societies, especially the United States, and has captured much support from many different people. The environmental movement has taken a stance against environmental degradation, depletion of natural resources, destruction of precious habitats, and the harming of endangered and non-endangered species. Emphasis on environmental quality has undoubtedly turned society a little greenerä and has made oneâs quality of life a little better. However, not all areas of society have reaped the benefits of the environmental movement, a fact that may have to do with those populations being a little brownerä.

Despite efforts made to raise environmental standards, many in society, particularly minorities and low-income residents who live in urban areas, find themselves inhabiting areas where environmental quality is either neglected or abused, and problems are prevalent. This is a problem of environmental injustice. The right to equal environmental quality should be extended to all members of society. Environmental justice is important because it ensures that all citizens, no matter their ethnicity, income level, or other defining characteristics, receive fair and equal environmental quality. More importantly, it potentially combats the issue of environmental conflict that could arise between opposing sides (those affected, as well as surrounding industries and the government). For example, the construction of additional hazardous waste facilities in a poor minority community would be a potential conflict. Environmental justice is a fairly new concept within the environmental arena (its origins can be traced back to the early twentieth century. It is c...


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...e is green.

References

Baar, E., Greenbaum, A., & Wellington, A. (1995). Social Conflict and Environmental Law: Ethics, Economics and Equity: Volume I. Toronto: Captus Press.

Glickman, T. & Hersh, R. (1995). Evaluating Environmental Equity: The Impacts of Industrial Hazards on Selected Social Groups in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Washington, D. C.: Resources for the Future.

Have, S. (1976). Environment and Equity: A Survey of Metropolitan Issues. Washington, D. C.: The Potomac Institute, Inc.

Hersh, R. (1995). Race and Industrial Hazards: An Historical Geography of the Pittsburgh Region, 1900-1990. Washington, D. C.: Resources for the Future.

Hurley, A. (1995). Environmental Inequalities. North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press.

Mandelker, D. (1981). Environment and Equity: A Regulatory Challenge. St. Louis: McGraw-Hill, Inc.

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